In our day and age you would not expect that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) would be increasing in prevalence, yet it is. The largest quota of the world’s population infected with HIV is identified as centred in Africa. However, other countries are fast catching up- why?
Studies in HIV prevalence
A study such as the HIV Sentinel Surveillance’s survey for 2010 reveals why certain countries have higher HIV prevalence rates:
Start and effect of AIDS control programmes
Willingness or reluctance of the population to have HIV tests
Awareness about HIV transmission created through counselling
How sex is viewed within a specific society
Other research suggests that the provision of HIV medication plays a role in the increased spread of HIV. As more people are supplied with the medication, the more the virus builds resistance to treatment raising likelihood of HIV development into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and transmission to others.
The reluctance of a person to inform another that they have HIV or to engage in unprotected sex raises risk of HIV infection. Not getting immediate medical attention if HIV infection is suspected means that infection prevention may not be possible.
Further studies show that drug use, drug addiction and HIV infection are linked as the virus is spread through sharing drug needles and accessories. The potential for unprotected sex or sex with an infected person is greater under the influence of drugs. Some drug addicts use sex to pay for drugs.
Societal impact on spread of HIV
We know that HIV is spread through bodily fluids, such as during sexual or drug activity. Societies where drug use and illegal sex trade is higher may have raised HIV rates. Countries that implement HIV awareness campaigns and AIDS control programmes may lower HIV prevalence within their societies.
HIV and our habits
The lifestyle choices we make largely influences our vulnerability to HIV infection. Avoiding drug use and addiction lowers risk of contracting HIV. Being open to learning about HIV helps us understand how it is transmitted. Receiving healthcare advice about HIV helps a person stay healthy and prevent transmission.
Our choices when engaging in sexual activity, such as using a condom for protection against HIV transmission, contributes to whether infection is more or less likely. Being considerate towards others in our hygiene practice and disclosing HIV infection to a partner may prevent another person from being infected with HIV.
You can learn more about HIV and general health matters at the freedom health hiv clinic and meet experienced medical professionals.